“Greenwashing” why H&M is being sued yet again.

It’s a simple logic really, if something is priced so cheap and delivered so quickly + requires so much effort to create and ship how is it possible for such a low tag? Factor in Material + Manufacturing + Volume + Shipping = $?.

This model worked in the 80’s up until the 90’s when Climate change was still considered a myth. We’re now in the “woke generation” era wherein Buzz keywords in the fashion world are “organic” “ethical” “sustainable” “conscious”, these are words are now plastered by almost every brand so it’s really hard as a consumer to figure out what’s real or not,

especially when the intent of a consumer is to buy a great outfit, with a low cost to their pocket, looks great and now is “Guilt Free”.

This is the ploy, most brands play on by launching so called “green/conscious collections” in the market a strategy H&M has used plenty a times

Now, how did H&M get into trouble? This is the claim from the article

“ In the newly-filed complaint, Commodore alleges that “despite its position as a fast-fashion giant, H&M has created an extensive marketing scheme to ‘greenwash’ its products” in order to present them “as environmentally-friendly when they are not.”

H&M has been making sustainable claims, over the past few years as a lot of companies have been snarking them, within reason. They were involved in “Rana Plaza” claims and I believe that was the AHA! moment they needed to work to keep their image CLEAN especially if they wanted to resonate with the “Gen-Z’s” their ideal target audience, they also hired a sustainability officer within the last 2 years to be able to show some progress.

Below is a snippet from the Article that mentions a claim that H&M mentioned for its piece of clothing to have used “20% less water” v/s actually “20% more water” being used on the Garment. If this is true this is a falsification of information to sell incorrect products to consumers.

“claimed that a dress was made with 20% less water on average,” when an independent investigation by news outlet Quartz revealed that the dress “was actually made with 20% more water.” Another example showed that H&M presented “a particular product as being produced with 30% less water” when the Higg website, which is where H&M procured such information, “showed that the item was ‘actually made with 31% more water, making it worse than conventional materials,’” Commodore alleges.

A personal one that I was hooting for with H&M was their recycling initiative which in certain stores, allowed you to give in/ drop off your old clothes at the store, for them to re-cycle.. Here is the claim on that initiative..

thanks to its recycling initiative — are “misleading,” according to the complaint. “Recycling solutions either do not exist or are not commercially available at scale for the vast majority of the products,” Commodore claims, and even still, she argues that “it would take H&M more than a decade to recycle what it sells in a matter of days.”

Also key to note here is most of their products include “Polyester” which releases microfibers and isn’t a naturally recyclable fabric..hmm wonder what is actually happening with these old clothes that customers are donating?

Final Note

With rise in sustainability conscious audience, brands are facing the scrutiny and competition from genuine ethical homegrown brands which are challenging them.

The easiest way out is to not shop from brands that release a sustainable line and aren’t transparent.

Shop local — homegrown — re-sale — reduce — leave out trends

Articles for your reference

  1. https://www.thefashionlaw.com/hm-is-being-sued-over-misleading-sustainability-marketing-product-scorecards/?fbclid=IwAR2J2mjOR8I3r4UQUO-_FZYjQQNn9DLZloJL_cp_HGrCE2yMtM7cz4qxJUU&fs=e&s=cl
  2. https://www.classaction.org/media/commodore-v-h-and-m-hennes-and-mauritz-lp.pdf



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Payal A Kumar

Payal A Kumar

All things Spiritual, Wellness centric and dedicated to our evolution journey